Spring Break 2013! How to Make the Most of Your Studying Stay-Cation
March 15, 2013
So you have decided to skip going on vacation for spring break and hope to utilize your week free from classes to catch up on your MCAT studies. As a dedicated MCAT student, you want to make sure that you’re maximizing every moment of your break on your quest for MCAT success. Here are some helpful tips for helping you make the most of your studying stay-cation:
1. Create a break-friendly schedule- During a normal MCAT study schedule you have to account for work, class, volunteering, homework etc. During a spring break schedule, you won’t have to make room for all of those activities, leaving you with extra hours. This opens up your schedule for a more balanced approach to studying. Structure those extra hours complete with breaks for meals, exercising and down-time for relaxing. Don’t try and pack your schedule too full with events or you’ll find that the week has passed you by and you’re still on page one of your Physics Review Notes.
2. Prioritize- Have you still not reviewed the content from the first Gen Chem lesson? Do you consistently get less than half of the kidney questions correct? Take some time to prioritize your strengths and weaknesses using your Smart Reports as a guide. They can help point you towards where you can most effectively spend your time during break.
3. Reflect and plan for the future- Part of MCAT studying that often gets shortcut during crazy busy times is using time for reflection on past practice tests and quizzes. This reflection step is critical to making sure that you are learning from your mistakes and improving on future questions. After the week is over, you can also reflect on ways to update the remaining part of your study schedule. Are you still on track for Test Day success? Check in with yourself and update your study schedule accordingly.
4. Treat yourself- You have been working hard to stay on top of all of your material in addition to your crazy schedule. Make sure that you take time out to not only rest and relax, but treat yourself to something fun. Go out for a night and spend time with friends, go to a concert or treat yourself to a spa day. Make sure that you’re rewarding yourself for all the hard work you have done so far on your MCAT journey.
Emily has been a teacher for Kaplan for over six years; she's taught MCAT, ACT, SAT, SAT2 and tutored pretty much every subject under the sun in both the classroom and live online (aka Classroom Anywhere) settings. She's also worked for Kaplan in content development and teacher mentorship roles. Emily is currently a second-year medical student at the University of Colorado and is hoping to go into Pediatrics. She's involved in many campus opportunities such as being a Prospective Student Representative, admissions committee member, CU-UNITE member, and co-president of the Education and Teaching Interest Group. Prior to medical school, Emily got a BA in Biochemistry and Spanish from Lawrence University and a Masters in Public Health- Epidemiology from the University of Minnesota. In her free time, Emily enjoys dancing, baking, playing tennis and exploring her new Colorado home.